Nigerien troops have rescued nine soldiers fleeing bandits’ attacks in Sokoto.
The Nigerian soldiers were rescued at Basira, a border village in the Gidan Roumdji district of Niger Republic, according to Daily Trust sources.
In Sokoto State, bandits attacked a joint base codenamed “Burkusuma Camp”, killing military officers and paramilitary officers.
Additionally, the bandits attacked Gatawa and other villages in the area.
It took until Sunday before news of the attack spread, despite the fact that the attack was carried out on Friday morning because of a telecommunications shutdown that was in effect in parts of Zamfara State and Sokoto State.
Aminu AlMustapha Gobir, a member of the Sokoto State House of Assembly, confirmed the attack, saying that 12 security personnel were killed.
Colonel Garba Moyi (rtd), Sokoto’s commissioner for transport and security matters, confirmed the attack but couldn’t give casualty figures.
Bandits from the combined teams of Halilu Sububu and Kachalla Turji, kingpins of the Zamfara bandits, perpetrated the attacks on communities in Sokoto.
According to eyewitnesses from the area, a large group of bandits surrounded the camp and opened fire on it from every angle.
Nine soldiers, three mobile policemen and three personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were killed in the attack. Gobir said many security operatives are still missing.
In addition to burning down two patrol vehicles, the marauders stole another one, used to transport food items stolen from the villagers,
Gobir said they received a report about the attack from a resident of the area who was using the Nigerien network.
A prominent traditional ruler in the area confirmed, however, that some vehicles were sent to evacuate the corpses of the fallen heroes.
More than 10 trucks loaded with well-armed soldiers are currently trailing the bandits in the forest.
A member of the NSCDC who requested anonymity confirmed to our reporter that three of its personnel were among the casualties.
As I speak to you, we are on our way to the morgue to claim and recover their bodies for burial.
Four people were also shot by the bandits in Katsira village.
Two of the victims died instantly, while the other two were receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
The bandits are also said to have taken three people from the village.
Major Yahaya Ngulde, spokesman for the 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Sanusi Abubakar, also said he was unaware of the attack.
A letter from the Director of Defence Information to one of our correspondents said that Major-General Sawyer had said he would get back to us after the incident was confirmed.
“You have already reported it, quoting your source. Let me verify your publication,” he said.
He hadn’t gotten back to us when I filed this report.